Every once in a while, I have a chance to report something extra special. It’s difficult to single out such events, because this group is so unique and talented. However, this particular accomplishment is governed by a list of requirements which calls to all, but has been accomplished by only a select few. Actually, only just one other has gained the position of Patron within the family of the NMMM. Fifteen basic skills must be honed, five 3-day treks in three different seasons must be made, pack a horse or mule, identify useful plants, be conversant in Indian sign language, identify game animal sign, and record your journeys. These requirements are only the beginning. Ability, talent, and attitude are key ingredients; but perhaps most important of all is having that down deep belief, the soul, if you will, in the “whole deal”. Well, what’s being said here is that it takes a lot of effort to make the grade, and it is truly an honor to announce the New Mexico Mountain Men’s newest and second Patron "Redwing"! Congratulations!
The official announcement was made at Moon of the Crow last month. Patron "Long Tongue" and NMMM Booshway "Pack Mule" spoke over the ceremony. "Redwing" was presented with a silver ivory (elk’s tooth), symbolizing his new station, crafted by Moon Booshway "Hands".
Look around you at your next rendezvous. If you happen to see a bedroll lain out on a slab of stone, or in a sandy wash, remember just two things. That’d be Redwing's bed, and he knows exactly what he’s doing.
A short story on our new Patron. A couple Ratons ago, Redwing was hounding a certain pilgrim to take part in an upcoming horse trek. Now the “houndee” had enough sense to know better, but the “hounder” was persistent. Badgering was going nowhere, so subtle hints were employed. A saddle showed up in a lodge entrance. Interesting effort. No small feat to bring it across the creek unnoticed; but the coup de grace had to be the tangled, dung infested, not quite de-boned, blonde horse tail tacked to the center pole of the same lodge. Probably was a little breezy for some poor 4-legged critter somewhere, but it would have been downright insulting to do anything less than accept an invitation made by someone willing to go to such lengths to invite. So I did, and it was an experience never to be forgotten.
How many “Bob guns” have you seen at a rendezvous lately? Not easy to keep count anymore.
Thanks to Redwing for everything, and congratulations.